Chicago To Bears Ownership: Stay Here Please

Bears ownership wants to development an Arlington Heights property.

The city of Chicago wants to keep the National Football League’s Bears franchise in the downtown area although Bears ownership has a different vision of its future plans. Bears ownership has an option to purchase the now closed Arlington racetrack property in Arlington Heights, a Chicago suburb, and move its business operations into what Bears ownership hopes becomes a stadium-village. But Chicago’s Landmark Development and the Reimagine Soldier Field Coalition have sprung into action and have come up with a plan to either keep Bears management happy or impress another National Football League ownership group with a stadium issue. The Chicago groups released a six-minute-long video that features a renovated Soldier Field, complete with all of the gadgets that an owner wants including expanded seating, premium restaurants, and a dome along with an adjacent concert venue. The dome part could be attractive to the NCAA which uses domed football stadiums for its Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four games. Chicago could also be in line to host a Super Bowl as the NFL generally rewards cities and states that build or renovate facilities with multi-revenue streams with its crown jewel event. The Super Bowl.

The renovation of Soldier Field would cost around $2.2 billion and there is no word on how it would be funded. Bears ownership is uninterested in the Chicago pitch. “The only potential project the Chicago Bears are exploring for a new stadium development is Arlington Park,” according to a  Bears ownership spokesperson. “As part of our mutual agreement with the seller of that property, we are not pursuing alternative stadium deals or sites, including renovations to Soldier Field, while we are under contract.” But other NFL owners could be watching the Chicago stadium presentation in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Jacksonville because that’s how you play the stadium game.

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